PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett says Las Vegas police officers pointed guns at him and used excessive force.
Bennett, 31, released the story on Twitter at 10:01 a.m. eastern time on Wednesday. It has nearly 35,000 retweets and 45,000 likes in less than two hours.
Police officers reportedly forced Bennett to the ground after gunshots were heard. Bennett says the officers pointed guns at him “for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time” and ordered him to lay down on the ground.
According to Bennett, one officer said, “he would ‘blow my [expletive] head off” if I moved.” Eventually, Bennett’s identity was discovered and he was released “without any legitimate justification for the Officers’ abusive conduct.”
Bennett explained why he sits during the National Anthem in his story, as well.
“I have always held a strong conviction that protesting or standing up for justice is just simply, the right thing to do,” he wrote. “This fact is unequivocally, without question why before every game, I sit during the national anthem — because equality doesn’t live in this country and no matter how much money you make, what job title you have, or how much you give, when you are seen as a [expletive] you will be treated that way.”
Bennett says he has retained John Burris, an Oakland-based civil rights attorney, to investigate the incident and explore all legal options.